Label: METHERGINE- methylergonovine maleate tablet, coated

  • DEA Schedule: None
  • Marketing Status: New Drug Application

Drug Label Information

Updated February 19, 2010

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    Methergine® (methylergonovine malate) is a semi-synthetic ergot alkaloid used for the
    prevention and control of postpartum hemorrhage.
    Methergine Tablets are for oral ingestion containing 0.2mg of methylergonovine maleate.
    Active ingredient
    methylergonovine maleate, USP, 0.2mg.
    Inactive Ingredients
    Acacia, carnauba wax, gelatin special, D and C Red #7, FD and C Blue #1,
    lactose, maleic acid, mixed parabens, povidone, sodium benzoate, sodium hydroxide,
    starch, stearic acid, sucrose, talc, and titanium dioxide.
    Its structural formula is
    image of structural formula


    Methergine® (methylergonovine maleate) acts directly on the smooth muscle of the uterus and increases the tone, rate, and amplitude of rhythmic contractions. Thus, it induces a rapid and sustained tetanic uterotonic effect which shortens the third stage of labor and reduces blood loss. The onset of action after I.V. administration is immediate; after I.M. administration, 2-5 minutes, and after oral administration, 5-10 minutes.

          Pharmacokinetic studies following an I.V. injection have shown that methylergonovine is rapidly distributed from plasma to peripheral tissues within 2-3 minutes or less. The bioavailability after oral administration was reported to be about 60% with no accumulation after repeated doses. During delivery, with intramuscular injection, bioavailability increased to 78%. Ergot alkaloids are mostly eliminated by hepatic metabolism and excretion, and the decrease in bioavailability following oral administration is probably a result of first-pass metabolism in the liver.

          Bioavailability studies conducted in fasting healthy female volunteers have shown that oral absorption of a 0.2 mg methylergonovine tablet was fairly rapid with a mean peak plasma concentration of 3243 ± 1308 pg/mL observed at 1.12 ± 0.82 hours. For a 0.2 mg intramuscular injection, a mean peak plasma concentration of 5918 ± 1952 pg/mL was observed at 0.41 ± 0.21 hours. The extent of absorption of the tablet, based upon methylergonovine plasma concentrations, was found to be equivalent to that of the I.M. solution given orally, and the extent of oral absorption of the I.M. solution was proportional to the dose following administration of 0.1, 0.2, and 0.4 mg. When given intramuscularly, the extent of absorption of Methergine solution was about 25% greater than the tablet. The volume of distribution (Vdss/F) of methylergonovine was calculated to be 56.1 ± 17.0 liters, and the plasma clearance (CLp/F) was calculated to be 14.4 ± 4.5 liters per hour. The plasma level decline was biphasic with a mean elimination half-life of 3.39 hours (range 1.5 to 12.7 hours). A delayed gastrointestinal absorption (Tmax about 3 hours) of Methergine tablet might be observed in postpartum women during continuous treatment with this oxytocic agent.


    For routine management after delivery of the placenta; postpartum atony and hemorrhage; subinvolution. Under full obstetric supervision, it may be given in the second stage of labor following delivery of the anterior shoulder.

    Hypertension; toxemia; pregnancy; and hypersensitivity.


    This drug should not be administered I.V. routinely because of the possibility of inducing sudden hypertensive and cerebrovascular accidents. If I.V. administration is considered essential as a lifesaving measure, Methergine® (methylergonovine maleate) should be given slowly over a period of no less than 60 seconds with careful monitoring of blood pressure. Intra-arterial or periarterial injection should be strictly avoided.



    Caution should be exercised in the presence of sepsis, obliterative vascular disease, hepatic or renal involvement. Also use with caution during the second stage of labor. The necessity for manual removal of a retained placenta should occur only rarely with proper technique and adequate allowance of time for its spontaneous separation.

    Drug Interactions

    CYP 3A4 Inhibitors (e.g., Macrolide Antibiotics and Protease Inhibitors)

    There have been rare reports of serious adverse events in connection with the coadministration of certain ergot alkaloid drugs (e.g., dihydroergotamine and ergotamine) and potent CYP 3A4 inhibitors, resulting in vasospasm leading to cerebral ischemia and/or ischemia of the extremities. Although there have been no reports of such interactions with methylergonovine alone, potent CYP 3A4 inhibitors should not be coadministered with methylergonovine. Examples of some of the more potent CYP 3A4 inhibitors include macrolide antibiotics (e.g., erythromycin, troleandomycin, clarithromycin), HIV protease or reverse transcriptase inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, delavirdine) or azole antifungals (e.g., ketoconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole). Less potent CYP 3A4 inhibitors should be administered with caution. Less potent inhibitors include saquinavir, nefazodone, fluconazole, grapefruit juice, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, zileuton, and clotrimazole. These lists are not exhaustive, and the prescriber should consider the effects on CYP 3A4 of other agents being considered for concomitant use with methylergonovine.

          No pharmacokinetic interactions involving other cytochrome P450 isoenzymes are known.

          Caution should be exercised when Methergine® (methylergonovine maleate) is used concurrently with other vasoconstrictors or ergot alkaloids

    Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

    No long-term studies have been performed in animals to evaluate carcinogenic potential. The effect of the drug on mutagenesis or fertility has not been determined.


    Category C. Animal reproductive studies have not been conducted with Methergine. It is also not known whether methylergonovine maleate can cause fetal harm or can affect reproductive capacity. Use of Methergine  is contraindicated during pregnancy because of its uterotonic effects. (See INDICATIONS AND USAGE.)

    Labor and Delivery

    The uterotonic effect of Methergine is utilized after delivery to assist involution and decrease hemorrhage, shortening the third stage of labor.

    Nursing Mothers

    Methergine® (methylergonovine maleate) may be administered orally for a maximum of 1 week postpartum to control uterine bleeding. Recommended dosage is 1 tablet (0.2 mg) 3 or 4 times daily. At this dosage level a small quantity of drug appears in mothers’ milk. Caution should be exercised when Methergine is administered to a nursing woman.

    Pediatric Use

    Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.

    Geriatric Use

    Clinical studies of Methergine did not include sufficient number of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in response between the elderly and younger patients. In general dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

    The most common adverse reaction is hypertension associated in several cases with seizure and/or headache. Hypotension has also been reported. Nausea and vomiting have occurred occasionally. Rarely observed reactions have included: acute myocardial infarction, transient chest pains, arterial spasm (coronary and peripheral), bradycardia, tachycardia, dyspnea, hematuria, thrombophlebitis, water intoxication, hallucinations, leg cramps, dizziness, tinnitus, nasal congestion, diarrhea, diaphoresis, palpitation, rash, and foul taste.1

          There have been rare isolated reports of anaphylaxis, without a proven causal relationship to the drug product.


    Methergine® (methylergonovine maleate) has not been associated with drug abuse or dependence of either a physical or psychological nature.


    Symptoms of acute overdose may include: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, numbness, tingling of the extremities, rise in blood pressure, in severe cases followed by hypotension, respiratory depression, hypothermia, convulsions, and coma.

          Because reports of overdosage with Methergine® (methylergonovine maleate) are infrequent, the lethal dose in humans has not been established. The oral LD50 (in mg/kg) for the mouse is 187, the rat 93, and the rabbit 4.5.2 Several cases of accidental Methergine injection in newborn infants have been reported, and in such cases 0.2 mg represents an overdose of great magnitude. However, recovery occurred in all but one case following a period of respiratory depression, hypothermia, hypertonicity with jerking movements, and, in one case, a single convulsion.

          Also, several children 1-3 years of age have accidentally ingested up to 10 tablets (2 mg) with no apparent ill effects. A postpartum patient took 4 tablets at one time in error and reported paresthesias and clamminess as her only symptoms.

          Treatment of acute overdosage is symptomatic and includes the usual procedures of:

    1. removal of offending drug by inducing emesis, gastric lavage, catharsis, and supportive diuresis.
    2. maintenance of adequate pulmonary ventilation, especially if convulsions or coma develop.
    3. correction of hypotension with pressor drugs as needed.
    4. control of convulsions with standard anticonvulsant agents.
    5. control of peripheral vasospasm with warmth to the extremities if needed.3

    Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration.


    One tablet, 0.2 mg, 3 or 4 times daily in the puerperium for a maximum of 1 week.



    0.2 mg round, coated, orchid, branded “78-54” one side, “SANDOZ” other side.

    Bottles of 6............ NDC 12634-179-96

    Bottles of 8............ NDC 12634-179-98

    Bottles of 10 ..........NDC 12634-179-00

    Bottles of 12 ..........NDC 12634-179-82

    Bottles of 15.......... NDC 12634-179-85

    Bottles of 20...........NDC 12634-179-80

    Blister Pack of 1.... NDC 12634-179-91   

    Store and Dispense

    Tablets: Store below 25°C (77°F); in tight, light-resistant container.

    1. Information on Adverse Reactions supplied by Medical Services Department, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, E. Hanover, N.J., based on computerized clinical reports.
    2. Berde, B. and Schild, H.O.: Ergot Alkaloids and Related Compounds, Springer-Verlag, New York, 1978, p. 810.
    3. Treatment of Acute Overdosage. Novartis Consumer Health, Inc. Rx Products. Novartis, Medical Services Department.


    REV: OCTOBER 2006             Printed in the U.S.A.                         5000981


    Distributed by:

    Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

    East Hanover, New Jersey 07936

    © Novartis

    Methergine® Trademark Registrant Sandoz Chemical Works, Inc.

    By change of name, by merger, by assignment, List Owner Novartis Pharmaceutcals Corporation.


    6 Tablets
    NDC 12634-179-96
    (methylergononovine maleate)
    Tablets, USP
    Rx Only
    Each Tablet Contains
    methytergonovine maleate 0.2MG
    Usual Adult Dosage
    See package insert for full prescribing information.
    Keep This and all Medications Out of the Reach of Children
    Dispense in a tight, light-resistant container
    as defined in the USP, using a child-resistant closure
    Manufactured by
    Novartis Pharmaceuticals
    Suffern, N.Y. 10901
    NDC 0078-0054-05
    Repackaged and Distributed by
    Apotheca, Inc.
    Phoenix, AZ. 85006
    image of label

    methylergonovine maleate tablet, coated
    Product Information
    Product TypeHUMAN PRESCRIPTION DRUGItem Code (Source)NDC:12634-179(NDC:0078-0054)
    Route of AdministrationORAL
    Active Ingredient/Active Moiety
    Ingredient NameBasis of StrengthStrength
    Inactive Ingredients
    Ingredient NameStrength
    acacia (UNII: 5C5403N26O)  
    carnauba wax (UNII: R12CBM0EIZ)  
    gelatin (UNII: 2G86QN327L)  
    lactose (UNII: J2B2A4N98G)  
    maleic acid (UNII: 91XW058U2C)  
    povidone (UNII: FZ989GH94E)  
    sodium benzoate (UNII: OJ245FE5EU)  
    sodium hydroxide (UNII: 55X04QC32I)  
    stearic acid (UNII: 4ELV7Z65AP)  
    sucrose (UNII: C151H8M554)  
    talc (UNII: 7SEV7J4R1U)  
    titanium dioxide (UNII: 15FIX9V2JP)  
    Product Characteristics
    Colorpurple (orchid) Scoreno score
    ShapeROUND (round) Size6mm
    FlavorImprint Code 78;54;SANDOZ
    #Item CodePackage DescriptionMarketing Start DateMarketing End Date
    1NDC:12634-179-966 in 1 BOTTLE, PLASTIC
    2NDC:12634-179-988 in 1 BOTTLE, PLASTIC
    3NDC:12634-179-0010 in 1 BOTTLE, PLASTIC
    4NDC:12634-179-8212 in 1 BOTTLE, PLASTIC
    5NDC:12634-179-8515 in 1 BOTTLE, PLASTIC
    6NDC:12634-179-8020 in 1 BOTTLE, PLASTIC
    7NDC:12634-179-911 in 1 BLISTER PACK
    Marketing Information
    Marketing CategoryApplication Number or Monograph CitationMarketing Start DateMarketing End Date
    Labeler - Apotheca, Inc. (051457844)
    NameAddressID/FEIBusiness Operations
    Apotheca, Inc.051457844repack, relabel